Monday, 9 February 2009

Meet Rowan Laxton, the racist diplomat

If you read the Guardian or the Independent, you won't have read about the extraordinary case of Rowan Laxton - the head of the South Asia Group at the Foreign Office, and, if the reports are to be believed, anti-semite. He has been arrested for inciting religious hatred through threatening words and behavior after shouting 'fucking Jews' and 'fucking Israelis' at the television at his gym while on the exercise bike - continuing after people had complained. In a charming echo of some of Ahmadinejad's comments about Israel, he is also reported to have shared his view that Israeli soldiers should be 'wiped off the face of the earth'.

Despite his arrest, he is continuing to 'work normally' at the FCO.

Several things strike me about this story.

First: what do you have to do to get suspended from your job at the Foreign Office these days?

Second: what a bizarre thing to do. Not only is he - apparently - a racist, he decided to share his prejudice with his fellow gym goers in a way which he must have known risked professional suicide. It almost smacks of a breakdown. Bit of a failure of FCO vetting.

Third: the story tends towards confirming one of my own prejudices, which is always nice - that the Foreign Office is deeply anti-Israel and pro-Arab. (This is the subject of one of the episodes of Yes Prime Minister, 'A victory for democracy'.)

Fourth: we all know that the Guardian and the Independent are highly critical of Israel and have commentators who are dangerously close to being anti-semitic. But simply to ignore this story is surely very, very odd. This guy is not a nobody, he's senior in the FCO pecking order. So why aren't they reporting it?
Update: Little Green Footballs' take: 'I’m not sure which is more disgusting — this antisemitic rant by a British diplomat, or the fact that in Britain you can be imprisoned for seven years because you said some words.'
Update 2: I should have made it clear that there's nothing about this on the BBC either (quelle surprise); the obvious thought experiment is to ask how it would be reported, and who by, if he had shouted abuse about 'fucking Muslims'. Meanwhile Melanie Phillips raises the pertinent legal point of why he was arrested for inciting religious hatred and not racial hatred.


Anonymous said...

the reason he was charged with inciting religious hatred and not racial hatred is quite simpled. Jews are not a race anymore than Christians are a race. Judaism is an ideology just as Chrristianity is an ideology that can be shared by anyone of any race. The Nazis and other anti-semites before and since attempted to define Jews as a race as it makes it easier to frame the hate-message being constructed. Laxton should go to jail. If I said similar comments about other racial or religious groups in the fashion that Laxton did I too would expect, and frankly deserve, to go to jail. In the UK there is still very much one law for all despite what some critics may fancy to claim otherwise on occasion.

Anonymous said...

"If I said similar comments about other racial or religious groups in the fashion that Laxton did I too would expect, and frankly deserve, to go to jail. In the UK there is still very much one law for all despite what some critics may fancy to claim otherwise on occasion."

LOL. Can't speak from gut emotion to the murderous hate of the Israelis to the Palestinians? Well, hell just control language and discourse. Legislate what is proper to think and say so the Powers that Be won't be offended.

A negative remark about Israelis is "hate speech," while killing hundreds of defenseless woman and children is "war."

What a totally emasculated race the English have become! Think like free men and if necessary die like men and women, even if all hope is lost. That's the lesson of Gaza.

Anonymous said...

LOL, those apologists for Muslim aggression are tapping away at the keyboard in cyberspace!

The old "defenceless women and children" canard - a logical fallacy offering proof by assertion whilst deliberately ignoring the inconvenient reality of Hamas using people as human shields and obfuscating how the West perceives who is a terrorist operative and who is genuinely a defenceless inoccent bystander.

But enough of this, this all has nothing to do with it. This is about Laxton and the UK Foreign Office. It's predictable some tard would get here online and seek to be apologist for Laxton by blaming Israel.

The real lesson from Gaza is this : just the same as the old Aesop fable where the wind and sun try to get the guy to take his jacket off - muslim aggression will not succeed. The best thing to do with all that faux seething is to stop assuming all us infedels are so subhuman we cannot see through the semantic ruses and quit while you're ahead - or alternately face the humiliation of complete defeat again and again until the end of time. Good will prevail and so will peace. Peace is always hard fought however.

Anonymous said...

"LOL, those apologists for Muslim aggression are tapping away at the keyboard in cyberspace."

ROTFLMAO. "Muslim aggression"? Aw geez. Correct me if I'm wrong. Aren't the armies of the US and GB, in the Afghanistan and Iraq waging a war of occupation based on proven lies with Israel's full complicity?

Apologist? Naw! Just eyes wide open to an unwarranted, unnecessary and completely hypocritical war being forced with Iran which most likely will escalate into WW III. I dunno. If being threatened with nuclear annihilation for the defense of a shitty little relic of British Imperialism is not hate, then its rather obvious "hate," is being re-defined to serve the needs and self-entitlement of the powerful against the power-less, less-than-human, and the expendable.

Lol. I'd say your brain has been turned to mush by your government's effort to curb free thought and free expression. After all it must be confusing to be told unnecessary Muslim immigration to your tiny island is good and beneficial to create a multi-cultural society, while also being assured that some of these Muslim immigrants want to blow your country to hell. So instead of Britain for the British like Israel for the Jews, the government's answer is wars of aggression and occupation and a British police state.

The question of course is if a forced, multi-cultural, "democratic," society is good for GB and Europe why isn't this same multi-cultural, "democratic society demanded of and appropriate for racist, apartheid Israel?

After all and clearly if "hate speech" laws based on aversion to racial and religious hatred were applied to Israel, nearly the entire country would be jailed. Yet GB is willing to fight and wage war to protect Israeli attitudes and behavior they would prosecute in their own citizens and in particular, Mr. Laxton.

The confusion is yours, sir --not mine. It comes from lousy thinking and bowing to the hypocritical rhetoric of power.

Besides numbnut, an assertion is NOT a logical fallacy, its an assertion. Logically an assertion constitutes either a major or minor premise or a conclusion of a reasoned argument. A premise can be true or false, an argument valid or invalid or fallacious.

My remark was about rhetoric and the rhetoric of power. My assertion is that killing defenseless woman and children is often described as "war," not "hate." You can call this a canard or "fallacy," but you can hardly impeach this assertion, first, because its self-evident, and second, because you refused to address the issue of the rhetoric of power.

Being a ass-kissing lackey for government bullshit is obviously not good for your mental health.

Anonymous said...

racism is ripe in the diplomatic service, especially in the US. I know someone who is an Information Program Officer (IPO) for the US department of state in Sydney who is a blatant racist and sexist. Bragged about getting a chinese employee constructively dismissed and 'worked it all out' with HR so he was covered. Also nagged on about 'f$*^$$g women' reporting to him despite reporting to a female consulate general. Yet the US tax payers have to pay a small fortune to keep him in a million $ apartment over looking the sydney harbor for doing a nothing special job.

The whole diplomat system is screwed. Too much money for corruption and nothing more than just pen pushing.

Peter in Berlin said...

Surely being anti-Israeli is not the same as being anti-semitic. I am extremely critical of Israel, as a state, because of its failure to accept UN Resolutions to withdraw from the Palestinian and Syrian (perhaps, also, Lebanese) land which it occupied in 1967. I have, therefore, decided not to buy any Israeli goods. Does that make me an anti-semite? I have a number of Jewish friends who feel exactly the same as I do, are they,ipso facto, anti semites?

Who brought this ridiculous prosecution against what, I at least consider, to be free speech?

francis.lavelle said...


Anonymous said...

You are a disgrace ,indeed if I was Rowan I would sue you "Meet Rowan Laxton,the racist diplomat"-no sign of allegedly,no apparently-no consideration of the actual meaning of the alleged statements. And look into it a bit more-who complained,what was the actual process and who were actually involved in this witch hunt.
I hate saying this, I really do-as a founder member years ago of SKAN-school kids against nazis- as a life long anti-fascist-and a I continue to fight fascism-I am sorry-but my experience of living in the middle -east and continued interest in the middle-east-Israel/jewsih/zionists-act as fascists (as do arab/muslim rulers)-.I had the pleasure and joy of meeting israeli/jewish people who opposed the fascist rulers of Israel-but like the germans who fought nazism-sadly in the minority.

arif said...

I know Rown personally.he is a decent and composed person with a sensitive and loving heart.A good friend,a patriotic britisher,a best human.some thing happened wrong with him and he lost his temprament.Rown you are so sweet. Arif Bahar, Pakistan

Anonymous said...

This makes us think about one thing. If a cool minded, sober, mature, high profiled person like Mr. Rowan can loose his temper the whats the fault of those muslim guys who turn into extremists by watching all the city burning, children and women crying and innocent people dying, all infront of their eyes?

In all my interaction with muslim people i found that if you are even a lil kind and fair to them they will respect you more than anyone.
We, the Europe, are being ruled by Jews, believe it or not, USA is also a slave of Israel. It does what Israel wants.

I have seen the world, and i've found that people in the WEST know little about the truth and the facts and figures, may be because western media tells us lies all day long.
We ourselves have turned peace loving nations into terrorist.

The CIA and MOSAD on one hand bribes terrorists in South Asia, on the other hand they demand a country called Pakistan to rule them out. So who is the terrorist now? USA+Israel+NATO or the rest of the nations?